The Word for today:
Q. Can you add 7+62+1?
A. Got it. That's 70.
Q. All right. If you can keep 7+62+1 in mind, you will be able to understand one of the Bible's most important prophecies.
The prophecy is known as Daniel's Seventy "Weeks" (or Daniel's Seventy "Sevens.")
First, let's read the text of the prophecy:
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. (Daniel 9:25)
After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. (Daniel 9:26)
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. (Daniel 9:27)
Q. The figures in the prophecy are years. So seven 'sevens' equals…?
A. 49 years!
Q. And sixty-two 'sevens' equals…?
A. Piece o' cake. 62 times 7 equals 434 years!
Q. All right, then tell us what this means:
From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.'
A. That means that from the year of a certain decree, it will be 49 years + 434 years until the Christ. The "Anointed One" is the New Testament "Christ."
Q. Right! There will be 483 years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until Jesus. So, when was the decree to rebuild Jerusalem issued?
A. I don't know. You're the Bible teacher.
Q. The decree was issued during the time of Nehemiah, the famous re-builder. The decree was announced during the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes (see Nehemiah 2:1-8), in 445 BC. That is the starting point of the Seventy "Weeks."
So starting at 445 BC, if we add 483 years, we arrive at the cross--when the Anointed One will be cut off.
A. But 445 + 483 brings us to 38 A.D. I thought Jesus died in 33 A.D.
Q. There might be a little discrepancy because the Jewish year was 360 days instead of 365. And Jesus may have been born a couple years earlier than "0" AD.
But, however you slice it, Daniel's Seventy Weeks Prophecy pinpoints the central moment in history--almost 500 years before it arrived.
Q. We multiplied 69 x 7--up to the point where the Christ is killed. What happened to the 70th week?
A. At the end of the 70th week, Jesus returns! But the the arithmetic gets a little more complicated. And I don't want the first prediction--the year of the cross--to get lost in the mix. So I'll write an addendum below, with a short explanation of the 70th "Week" for those, like you, who are curious.
Q. Has the 70th "Week" started yet?
A. To the addendum!
Q. In 9:26, are the "ruler who will come" and the "Anointed One" the same person?
A. To the addendum!
~~~Addendum: the 70th "Week"~~~
God gives specific time only as it relates to Israel. Israel is God's alarm clock. After the Christ (the Anointed One) is killed, the time of the church ensues. Scripture never gives us specific dates concerning the church.
When the church is removed at the time of the Rapture, then church time is over and Israel comes back into view. At that point, the very specific timing of God's prophecy starts again.
Think of it in terms of a rocket launch. Time is very specifically counted down, but there are gaps where the countdown is suspended, or put on hold. In God's countdown, the church age is a gap.
We now stand at "T minus seven years and holding." At the rapture, the count will be "T minus seven years and counting."
It is important to note that the "ruler who will come" and the "Anointed One" in 9:26 are not the same person!
The "Anointed One" is the Prince of Peace. The "ruler who will come" in this verse is Antichrist (the little horn of Daniel 7, the beast of Revelation 13) who is in league with the prince of darkness.
Thus the 70th "Seven" (or "Week") is a prophecy of what Jesus referred to as the Great Tribulation Period, when--literally--all hell breaks loose on earth.
At the end of this seven year period, Jesus will return. He will first appear at the Mount of Olives. At that time, the world--like it or not--will witness some biblical prophecy. The Old Testament phrase "Prince of Peace" and the angelic prophecy at his first advent--"Peace on earth, good will to men"--will take on real meaning then. (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:14/KJV)
Because Jesus is going to step into the man-made hell of the Tribulation and when he does, there will be peace on earth. There will be peace on earth because the Prince of Peace is going to enforce the peace.
I will not be here when Jesus returns, because before then I will have died or else been taken out of the world with the rest of the believing church at the Rapture. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)
But if you're still here, don't look for the Hollywood Jesus, or the baby in the manger or the Suffering Servant. The Jesus the world encounters the second time around will be like none of the above. I daresay that, for a while, it won't seem like Christmas.